21.06.2012 - Comunicado de prensa
Rio+20: «Sustainable dinner» for a change of direction in food production
Yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, representatives of the entire food production chain took part in a very special dinner at the invitation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Swiss Biovision Foundation and the Millennium Institute. Producers, traders, consumers and representatives from the political arena met at the Rio+20 Sustainability Conference to engage in a dialogue about food security and environmentally friendly farming.
There were 120 guests, seated at twelve tables of ten people each. At each table were four politicians, ministers or organizers of the Rio Conference, two farmers, a representative from the commercial sector, a processor, a consumer representative and a representative from the healthcare sector. The ingredients used in the dinner were produced by small-scale farmers in the Rio de Janeiro region on environmentally friendly farms. The farmers also attended the dinner and reported on the ingredients.
Non-sustainable systems of food production are undermining the possibilities of producing enough healthy food for today's and tomorrow's populations and are also driving millions of small-scale farmers into poverty. In principle, they would be able to feed a global population of nine billion people. In his address, Manuel Bessler, the Federal Council's delegate for humanitarian aid, said: "A food production system that takes up 70% of global fresh water, that over-exploits the land, and that is responsible for almost one-third of greenhouse gas emissions – a food production system that leaves almost one billion people hungry – is unacceptable and not suited to guaranteeing food security”. Rio+20, he continued, represents a unique opportunity and a commitment to change course. Hans R. Herren, President of the Biovision Foundation, stated that the Earth Summit in Rio must mark the beginning of a change of direction: a change to an environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable food system based on sustainable farming methods. Specific goals of the sustainable dinner included both the establishment of contacts between decision-makers, food producers, traders and consumers aimed at further steps to be taken after the Rio+20 Conference and an active compliance with the call for an international organisation (FAO or UNEP) to be mandated in developing measures to promote sustainable farming in line with the World Agricultural Council's findings (IAASTD).
The SDC supports small-scale farming structures and supports farmers' families in producing and marketing their products and in the sustainable use of natural resources. It thus makes a significant contribution to alleviating global poverty. This approach remains topical even in the face of new challenges such as climate change, which make current and future food production more difficult worldwide.
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